‘Musharraf had secret understanding with US to support Afghan invasion’
Islamabad: Former military ruler and Pakistan president, Pervez Musharraf, had kept his top commanders in the dark about his ''secret understanding'' with the US to support the invasion of Afghanistan, according to his former military aide.
Lt General (retired) Shahid Aziz disclosed that top military commanders had reached a consensus to remain neutral in the event of a US operation in Afghanistan, following the 9/11 attacks, reports The Express Tribune.
Gen Shahid was holding the key post of Chief of General Staff (CGS) at the General Headquarters at the time of the US' military offensive against the Afghan Taliban. He recalled that Musharraf had extensive and intense discussions with corps commanders to discuss Pakistan's response to the US' demands of supporting the Afghan war.
He added that some of the participants, including General Aziz Ahmed Khan and General Jamshed Gulzar Kayani, opposed the idea of ditching the Taliban. Following the discussions, Musharraf assured the military commanders that Pakistan would neither support the US nor the Taliban, he said.
However, a few months later, it emerged that contrary to the decision, Musharraf had already struck a deal with the US, he added. Gen Shahid said he came to know through his own sources that Jacobabad and Pasni airbases were being used by Americans for the operation in Afghanistan.
He said it was a shocking revelation that Musharraf had not only permitted US forces to use the country''s airspace but also its airbases. Gen Shahid disclosed that when confronted, Musharraf said he knew what was in Pakistan's "best interest".
He said his advice to the former president was that Pakistan must not launch any operation in tribal areas as it would have negative consequences. Gen Shahid also recently claimed in his book that only four generals knew about the Kargil operation.
His revelations led to calls for judicial investigations into the 1999 incident that derailed the peace process between Pakistan and India.